Pubdate: Sun, 24 Apr 2005
Source: Journal Times, The (Racine, WI)
Copyright: 2005 The Journal Times
Author: Stephen Heath
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Bookmark: (Treatment)


As a recovered former abuser of crack cocaine and methamphetamine (clean 
over 11 years now) the question for Wisconsin legislators should be, "Will 
limiting sales of decongestants do anything to reduce the amount of 
methamphetamine abuse in our state?" My personal experience, along with 
that of the couple thousand drug abusers I've worked with during the past 
decade in treatment and recovery settings, suggests the answer is a 
resounding no.

Yet the only responses being discussed in Madison all deal with increasing 
penalties and levying harsher sanctions against the users and the 
manufacturers of methamphetamine. I can assure readers that regardless of 
how many Wisconsin residents police arrest and incarcerate for meth-related 
offenses, not a single addict is any closer to true recovery.

It's time for more sensible alternatives. We need to increase access to 
strong stimulants so that the illegal market for amphetamines will be 
reduced. And we need to transfer the monies currently used to incarcerate 
drug abusers into programs which allow treatment on demand for any drug 
abuser who wants it. Such treatment should be available regardless of the 
drug of abuse - whether that drug be meth, cocaine, alcohol, nicotine or 

Educate. Don't incarcerate.

Stephen Heath

Public Relations Director

Drug Policy Forum of Florida

Clearwater, Fla.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth